This East African nation is known for stability. But drought and rising prices are fueling insecurity. In this week’s episode, we speak exclusively with Dr. Kumi Naidoo, UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to food, about the world’s largest food crisis, and what he thinks of the Trump administration’s policies.
What is your experience like? And how has the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire changed in the last five years?
In the beginning we had no problems with food insecurity and drought, we had only a little population of around 400,000 people. But today, in Côte d’Ivoire, more than half of the population have become food insecure. And almost of the population is now suffering from some food insecurity.
The food insecurity is worsening due to many factors. But one very important factor is the lack of investment in agricultural lands. Many people are not allowed to invest in their agricultural lands; they are not allowed to buy land and even if one is allowed to invest in the land one is forced to sell, when it is not producing enough it becomes a problem. This was part of the reason why we were suffering from food insecurity in the beginning and then during the 2016 presidential election we were experiencing food insecurity.
The economic situation is also a contributing factor to food insecurity. The economic development of the country in the last several decades has been very bad. In the first two decades of the 2000s, the economy was very bad and then in the last decade the economy has been a big problem. And this has a direct impact on the food security as well as on children’s well-being which is a very weak aspect of the economy also.
The main problem here is the lack of investment in agricultural lands. This is very serious. But the question is, is there a solution?
The solution to the problem is for the government and other stakeholders to put pressure on the government. This is a problem of the government, so the government has to step up to the